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The Cracked Spine

Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland, to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn't know much about what she's gotten herself into other than that the work sounds exciting and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime.

When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at The Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a 19-year-old thespian with a colored past and a bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected.

But before she can settle in to her new life, a precious artifact - a previously undiscovered first folio of Shakespeare's plays - goes missing, and Edwin's sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio and how it's connected to the tragic death - all without getting harmed herself.

©2016 Paige Shelton-Ferrell (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"As warm and inviting as a cup of tea and a serving of fresh-from-the-oven shortbread." (Ellery Adams, author of Writing All Wrongs)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 04-01-16

A bit unbelievable

This was an okay story. There were obvious problems in the plot such as everyone talking so freely to Delaney and the fact that she was given a job with such responsibility over the phone. I will probably read the next book. But, I think this might be one of those stories in which everything works out perfectly for the main character regardless of of the complications involved. Carrington MacDuffie did a great job job with the accents. She made the book worth finishing.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • Saulsbury, TN, US
  • 08-06-16

Hmmmmm

I might have liked it better if there had been a little lead up to Delaney's nosiness. It just defied logic that she could be this stranger in a foreign country at a new job (at which she never really seemed to work), who was such a busybody. But more unlikely was that everyone in Scotland was willing to answer her questions, and not tell her to mind her own business.
The story itself was ok, but the author really should have set up a scenario where there would be a reason for her nosiness. And then, create situations where she sort of stumbles onto things. Delaney seemed like a pain. Maybe I could read more of the future series if Delaney was more Miss Marple than Gladys Kravitz.
I guess it is ok if you want a little diversion.
The narrator was good. I liked the accents. Very nice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very enjoyable!

I was listening to this book on my drive home and found myself smiling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as the plot kept me interested and the characters pulled me into the story. I hope that this book is not a standalone!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • RB L
  • Mount Joy, PA United States
  • 12-31-17

Horrible main character

The book would be enjoyable except for 2 things. First you need to get past the ridiculous and unbelievable parts which aren't even central to the plot. For example, the main character Delaney is offered a job in a foreign country with only a phone interview and effortlessly falls into an ideal housing situation.
This wouldn't be a big deal except for the Delaney character. Which is my second reason. Delaney is so unlikable. She's rude, pushy and nosy. No thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Accents horrible

Some of the worst Scottish accents I have heard in a long time. It totally took away from the enjoyment of listening to the book. Sorry now I purchased the next one in the series. Hopefully the accents have improved. I ended up buying the IBook for this so I could find out who did it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ok to pass the time

The story doesn't have a natural flow and feels forced as Delaney investigates. Actually a lot of the story has a forced feeling to it. While the narrator is good at the Scottish accent and men's voices, she makes the 29 year old Delaney sound like a middle-aged woman.

There are much better cozy mysteries than this series. I never had the "what's next" feeling of anticipation. I liked Paige Shelton's other series, but surprisingly this book was flat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Scottish mystery!

An exciting cosy mystery taking place in Edinburgh Scotland. I enjoyed the story line and the characters along with the places in Edinburgh.

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Great trip to Scotland!

I have "read" this book twice! Once before we traveled to Scotland and once two years later. The story line is excellent and I can visualize the geography! I am looking forward to starting the next book right away! More adventures with daring Delaney!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A twit from Kansas ....

Omg
This is really horrible
The “heroine” goes from smart to stupid to dumb and dumber
I hate it when women write these daft books that are such an insult to women’s’ intelligence
Aaaaarrrrgggg
I hope no Americans show up in Scotland and behave so stupidly

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great story idea

The idea of the plot is great,American woman leaves all in Kansas to go to Edinborough and work in a book store. The characters she meets are delightful, the plot mediocre. My biggest complaint with this book is that the main character, Delaney, has no personality. she comes across as being very two dimensional, I would not even be able to describe her personality beyond saying she is nice. in conclusion, it is a pretty good story that deserves a better protagomist.

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  • Lisle
  • 10-07-19

Reasonable first installment but terrible accents

This is a reasonable story. I am sure nobody buys this expecting prize winning literature but it's a cosy crime novel and I was interested enough in the characters to move onto the next two books.

The main character flies half way around the world to work for a person she has never met, moves into the first flat she sees ownd by a cab driver that picks her up on day one, becomes immediate best friends with cab driver and his wife, immediately stars dating the first bloke she meets and is practically married to him, starts investigating the murder of someone she has never met, all by chapter three. She also has a weird talent to hear books speaking to her which promptly disappears the minute her plane lands in Edinburgh so not sure why that was even mentioned as it plays absolutely no part in the story. I suspect this is to attract the Droughlander fans, of which I am one!

The character is supposed to be 29 but she talks and acts like she is 49. Her relationship with the hot Scottish bloke in the kilt is like the sort of relationship we have when we are well past looking for someone to share kids and mortgages with, not the sort of relationship most 29 year old women have. Not expecting anything mucky but she hasn't even kissed him.

Having spent a considerable amount of time in Scotland I regret to report that the only guys that wear kilts in the city are tourist bagpipe players. Oh, I did once see a really drunk guy in a kilt on the No 4 bus to Partick one Tuesday night in 2018 but I suspect this was a one-of. It clearly made an impression on me.

I feel sorry for the narrator because she makes a fair job of reading the work but her accents are terrible. Even though she has a Scottish name she is American and this suits the lead character but every other character is Scottish and she simply cannot do any of the accents. They all sound the same and it is not possibe to tell the male and female characters apart.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-18

Poor

I cannot believe that I spent money on this book. The story is weak and the narration was quite awful. No idea from what part of Scotland the accents were supposed to come but ..........

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 12-29-17

Slow.There are better cosy mysteries out there.

Very slow and quite dull. Delaney had just arrived in Scotland and I didn't understand why she took it upon herself to interrogate people and try to solve the murder of a person she had never met. I plodded along with this book to finish it but I won't be reading any more of the series. I've read one other book by the same author and also found it quite mundane.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • IAN
  • 07-24-16

First in a New Series!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Well read by the narrator Carrington MacDuffie. With a great set of characters. Well plotted and written.

What did you like best about this story?

The mysteries contained within The Cracked Spine bookshop.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The underground tour.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Delaney saw Hamlets face.

Any additional comments?

Great start to a New Series. Hope we will get more audio books in this series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-24-19

Slow

Took forever to get momentum....not exciting at all...doubt I’ll bother with another title